Planning a Visit to Petroglyph National Monument

Petroglyph National Monument – Photo by Dr. Jim Kepler

Planning a Visit to Petroglyph National Monument

A stop on a recent vacation included the Petroglyph National Monument. It stretches seventeen miles along Albuquerque, New Mexico’s West Mesa. It’s on a volcanic basalt escarpment that dominates the city’s western horizon. Authorized June 27, 1990, the National Park Service and the City of Albuquerque together manage the 7,236 acre monument.

Petroglyph National Monument features a variety of ancient petroglyphs carved into volcanic rocks by the Ancestral Pueblo people and other indigenous cultures.

You will want to check the park’s website for the latest information on hours of operation, fees, and any closures or restrictions because of COVID-19.

Decide which of the park’s three main areas you would like to visit: Boca Negra Canyon, Rinconada Canyon, or Piedras Marcadas Canyon. Each area has its own unique petroglyphs and hiking trails. I describe each later.

Plan to spend at least 2-3 hours at the park to allow enough time to explore the trails and view the petroglyphs. Wear comfortable walking shoes and bring water, sunscreen, and a hat. Some of the park’s trails are without pavement and are rocky, so if you have mobility issues, be sure to check trail condition in advance. 

Please understand that the Petroglyph National Monument is a protected area. Be sure to stay on designated trails and do not touch or disturb any of the petroglyphs.

What is a petroglyph?

Before the visit, I couldn’t define a petroglyph. Perchance, like me, you can’t either. 

A petroglyph is a type of rock art that is created by carving or engraving images or designs into a rock surface. Natural rock outcroppings, boulders, or cliffs makeup their canvass. Techniques used include a variety of techniques, such as pecking, grinding, or incising. The artform is in areas where rocks have soft surfaces. They’re carved on rocks, such as basalt, sandstone, or granite.

Petroglyph photo by Dr. Jim Kepler

Petroglyphs can depict a wide variety of subjects, including humans, animals, symbols, and abstract designs. Simple or complex describe the patterns. Size ranges from small individual figures to large panel compositions.

Petroglyph photo by Dr. Jim Kepler

Petroglyphs are often associated with prehistoric cultures. They provide an important source of information about the beliefs, customs, and daily life of ancient peoples.

Petroglyphs versus Pictographs

Petroglyphs differ from pictographs. Painting or drawing on rock surfaces creates pictographs. They used natural pigments such as ochre or charcoal as the paint.

Boca Negra Canyon, Rinconada Canyon, or Piedras Marcadas Canyon

Boca Negra Canyon 

Boca Negra Canyon is one of the three main areas of the Petroglyph National Monument. We know it for its large concentration of ancient petroglyphs. The canyon is home to over one-hundred petroglyph panels, which feature a wide variety of designs and images, including animals, humans, and abstract symbols.

Boca Negra Canyon trails are an easy, self-guided hike, with about a one mile round trip. The trails are well-maintained and provide visitors with an opportunity to examine the petroglyphs up close. The trail features interpretive signs that provide information about the history and meaning of the petroglyphs.

Petroglyph photo by Dr. Jim Kepler

One of the salient features of the Boca Negra Canyon petroglyphs is the “Great Kiva,” which is a circular, subterranean chamber that was used for religious and ceremonial purposes. The Ancestral Pueblo people, who were the original inhabitants of the area, might have built the Great Kiva. We believe the Ancestral Pueblo people created the petroglyphs in the canyon. Other indigenous cultures who lived in the area created additional petroglyphs.

Boca Negra Canyon is home to the Boca Negra Dam, a historic structure built in the early 20th century to provide water for the nearby community. The Dam trail offers a panoramic view of the Petroglyph National Monument and the city of Albuquerque.

Boca Negra Canyon offers visitors an opportunity to witness a wide variety of ancient petroglyphs and learn about the history and culture of the area through interpretive signs, and also a short hike with a panoramic view of the Petroglyph National Monument.

Rinconada Canyon

Rinconada Canyon is another area of the Petroglyph National Monument and home to over six-hundred and fifty petroglyphs.

Visitors can look at the petroglyphs up close on the self-guided Rinconada Canyon trails. The trails are well-maintained and range from easy to moderate in difficulty. They feature interpretive signs that provide information about the history and meaning of the petroglyphs.

Petroglyph photo by Dr. Jim Kepler

One of the unique features of the Rinconada Canyon petroglyphs is the “Star Circles,” which are a group of petroglyphs that depict a series of concentric circles with radiating lines. Many people believe these petroglyphs to be astronomical and used as a calendar or to track the seasons.

The Rinconada Canyon also offers a trail that leads to a viewpoint where visitors can examine the entire canyon and the surrounding landscape.

Rinconada Canyon has a large concentration of petroglyphs, including unique “Star Circles” and it offers visitors an opportunity to observe a wide variety of ancient petroglyphs and learn about the history and culture of the area through interpretive signs and also a moderate hike with a viewpoint.

Piedras Marcadas Canyon

Piedras Marcadas Canyon is one of the main areas of the Petroglyph National Monument. Known for its concentration of ancient petroglyphs, the canyon is home to over one-hundred and fifty petroglyphs.

The Piedras Marcadas Canyon trails are self-guided and offer visitors an opportunity to see the petroglyphs up close. The trails are well-maintained and range from easy to moderate in difficulty, and feature interpretive signs that provide information about the history and meaning of the petroglyphs.

Petroglyph photo by Dr. Jim Kepler

One of the unique features of the Piedras Marcadas Canyon petroglyphs is the “Thunderbirds,” which are a group of petroglyphs that depict a large bird-like creature with a long tail and outspread wings. These petroglyphs were associated with the sky, thunder, and lightning, and may used in religious or ceremonial contexts.

Piedras Marcadas Canyon also offers a hiking trail that leads to a viewpoint where visitors can see the entire canyon and the surrounding landscape, including the Sandia Mountains.

We know Piedras Marcadas Canyon for its unique “Thunderbirds” petroglyphs and it offers visitors an opportunity to see a wide variety of ancient petroglyphs and learn about the history and culture of the area through interpretive signs and also a moderate hike with a viewpoint.

Conclusion

Petroglyph National Monument features a variety of ancient petroglyphs carved into volcanic rocks by the Ancestral Pueblo people and other indigenous cultures. Hiking opportunities abound. I couldn’t help but think the Pueblo people may have seven encountered a few unidentified flying objects from the rock carving.

Petroglyph photo by Dr. Jim Kepler

Photo Source: All photos were taken by the author unless noted in the photo caption.
Disclosure: I am an Amazon affiliate. If you purchase using the links in the article I receive a small commission.

A Sunday Letter

Dear Friends,

My hope is my letter finds you well and enjoying your Sunday morning.

As we start this day, I wanted to encourage you to make the most of it. Foremost, take a moment to enjoy your coffee and savor the moment. Here in North Texas there is a cold front with rain moving through. Stay warm and cozy. Don’t forget to check your outdoor faucets and pipes to make sure they’re protected from the potential freezing weather that’s descending on much of the USA.

Besides taking care of your physical comfort, consider your spiritual health as well. Attending church in person or streaming it can be a great way to connect with your faith and community. Spending time with your family is also a wonderful way to connect and strengthen relationships. God made humankind to fellowship with Him and others. He even said in

Genesis 2:18, “And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; …”

Don’t neglect your companionship with friends, your relationship with family, and don’t leave God out of your life. Maybe respond to that email a friend sent you that you’ve not made time to answer or call that cherished friend.

As you enjoy your Sunday, why not take the time to read a book or some poetry? This can be a great way to slow down and reflect on life. Life doesn’t have to center on the sporting events on television. Great instrumental music can play in the background as you read and meditate. And don’t forget to get some exercise, even if it’s just a short walk around the block.

I encourage you to make the most of this Sunday. God blessed you with getting to live today.

Whether it’s taking care of your physical, spiritual, or emotional well-being, or taking the time to enjoy the simple things in life, make the most of this time and cherish it.

Remember, the words of the Psalmist from

Psalm 118:24 in the Holy Bible, “This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.”

Wishing you a wonderful Sunday and a blessed week ahead!

Best regards,
Jimmie A. Kepler

 

What Do You Want to Accomplish?

Jim Kepler Reflecting on Life

Hello Everyone

Hello Everybody. Can you believe it’s already Friday? As I grow older, the week seems to zoom by as fast a as school holiday evaporated when I young. Even though I am officially retired, I try to make the best use of each day I have.

Two-minute warning

Reflecting on something I heard Coach Joe Gibbs (member of the NFL Hall of Fame and the NASCAR Hall of Fame) say. His words, “If we view life as a football game, at my age I’m in the fourth quarter. Not only is it the fourth quarter, but the two-minute warning has been given. I’m now running the hurry-up offense to accomplish as much as I can.” 

Jim Kepler and Coach Joe Gibbs taken at Interstate Batteries Corporate Headquarters. Coach Gibbs was doing a book signing. You can learn more about or purchase his book at the below link.

 

Life Span

I turn 70-years old later this year. As a child in Sunday school and church I learned Psalm 90:10. The verse tells what are expected life-span is. The verse says, “The days of our years are threescore years and ten (70 years); and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years (80-years), yet is their strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away.” 

Each day is precious

Each day is precious. My mother made four score and one and my father made four score and ten. I have an urgency to avail myself to use each day fully and to continue to share my Christian faith. I don’t fear death. I know that heaven is my destination because I am a Believer in Jesus Christ. I just want all of you to spend eternity with me in heaven. So, you’ll hear me share stuff about Jesus from time to time.

How to Become a Christian

Here’s how can know Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior and be sure heaven is your eternal home. Click the link to read my personal story of accepting Jesus –My Story.

Disclosure: I am an Amazon affiliate. If you purchase using the links in the article I receive a small commission.

 

What Does the Bible Say About Hope?

 

What Does the Bible Say About Hope?

We can experience hope because of God and in God. God gives hope to the hopeless.

He shines His light in the darkness. He heals the broken hearted and the broken world. Hope exists because of His redemption.

The Book of Psalms are full of hope. The Psalms point to a celebration of hope we have in the Lord God.

Psalms strengthen our faith. They can lighten our heart and heartache. They can also give us hope for the future and a clear vision of the hope we have in the Lord.

Here are ten Psalms that share the hope we have in the Lord.

Psalm 27:13-14 KJV – The Lord’s Goodness

 I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.  Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord. Psalm 27:13-14 KJV

Psalm 37:1-6 KJV – Trust in the Lord

Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity. For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb. Trust in the Lord, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed. Delight thyself also in the Lord: and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass. And he shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light, and thy judgment as the noonday.

Psalm 33:18-19 KJV – The Eye of the Lord

 Behold, the eye of the Lord is upon them that fear him, upon them that hope in his mercy; To deliver their soul from death, and to keep them alive in famine.

Psalm 13:5-6 KJV – Trusted in Thy Mercy

But I have trusted in thy mercy; my heart shall rejoice in thy salvation. I will sing unto the Lord, because he hath dealt bountifully with me.

Psalm 51:10-12 KJV – Create, Renew, and Restore

Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me. Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit.

Psalm 34:17-20 KJV – The Lord Hears, Delivers, Saves, & Keeps

The righteous cry, and the Lord heareth, and delivereth them out of all their troubles. The Lord is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the Lord delivereth him out of them all. He keepeth all his bones: not one of them is broken

Psalm 121:1-2 KJV – From Where Do I Get Help?

I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. My help cometh from the Lord, which made heaven and earth.

Psalm 121:7-8 KJV – Who Will Protect Us From Evil?

The Lord shall preserve thee from all evil: he shall preserve thy soul. The Lord shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth, and even for evermore.

Psalm 62:5-6 KJV – Who is My Rock?

My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from him. He only is my rock and my salvation: he is my defence; I shall not be moved.

Psalm 42:5 KJV – Praise God For His Help

Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted in me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance.

Man or woman’s ultimate hope comes from knowing Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.

Do you know Jesus Christ as your Savior and Lord? If you died tonight, would you go to heaven?

Here’s how can know Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior and be sure heaven is your eternal home. Click the link to read my personal story of accepting Jesus – Jimmie’s Story.

Disclosure: I am an Amazon affiliate. If you purchase using the links in the article I receive a small commission.

 

 

 

How Does God Meet Our Needs?

Do you know Jesus Christ as your Savior and Lord? If you died tonight, would you go to heaven?

Here’s how can know Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior and be sure heaven is your eternal home. Click the link to read my personal story of accepting Jesus – Jimmie’s Story.

Should I Take a Day Off?

Do you know Jesus Christ as your Savior and Lord? If you died tonight, would you go to heaven?

Here’s how can know Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior and be sure heaven is your eternal home. Click the link to read my personal story of accepting Jesus – Jimmie’s Story.

Who Did God Put in the Garden of Eden?

Do you know Jesus Christ as your Savior and Lord? If you died tonight, would you go to heaven?

Here’s how can know Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior and be sure heaven is your eternal home. Click the link to read my personal story of accepting Jesus – Jimmie’s Story.

Who Will Wipe Away Their Tears?

Do you know Jesus Christ as your Savior and Lord? If you died tonight, would you go to heaven?

Here’s how can know Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior and be sure heaven is your eternal home. Click the link to read my personal story of accepting Jesus – Jimmie’s Story.

 

Eight Reasons Why You Should Listen to or Read the Bible Through In a Year

The photo is a selfie of the author listening to the Bible being read and following the text in his Bible.

Have you ever considered reading the Bible through in a year? I know, scary thought. Maybe reading sounds overwhelming. Maybe you might consider listening to the Bible on audio. It takes less than fifteen minutes a day. You can even break it down into listening a few minutes in the morning and a few minutes in the evening if finding a dedicated block of time is too tough. You could listen with your morning coffee or on your commute to or from work.

Eight Reasons Why You Should Listen to or Read the Bible Through In a Year

1. The Bible is the word of God

The Bible is the word of God, and by reading it, you can gain a better understanding of his message and teachings.

2. Take it With You & Incorporate into Your Routine

Listening to the Bible on audio allows you to take it with you wherever you go, making it easy to incorporate into your daily routine. You can listen to the Bible for free on CBN.com at http://bible.cbn.com/#!/reading-plan/1/1?p=audio. The link gives you a daily plan. They also have an option where you can sign up for a dail email to remind you to read your Bible. The email has a link to that day’s reading/listening. You can sign-up for the email at https://www1.cbn.com/course/general-bible-courses.

3. Gain a Comprehensive Understanding of the Entire Text

Reading the Bible through in one year helps you to gain a comprehensive understanding of the entire text, rather than just isolated passages.

4. Help You Navigate Life’s Challenges and Make Better Decisions

The Bible contains timeless wisdom and guidance that can help you navigate life’s challenges and make better decisions.

5. A Calming and Uplifting Experience

Listening to the Bible on audio can be a calming and uplifting experience, helping you to find peace and clarity in your life.

6. Grow in Your Faith and Deepen Your Relationship with God

Reading the Bible through in one year is a great way to grow in your faith and deepen your relationship with God.

7. Help You to Persevere Through Difficult Times

The Bible contains many stories of inspiration and encouragement that can help you to persevere through difficult times.

8. Become Part of a Community of Believers

By reading the Bible through in one year, you can join a community of believers who are also committed to studying the word of God.

King of The Jews